Ordynariusz płocki Szymon w Gallowej narracji o bitwie Mazowszan z Pomorzanami (Gall II, 49)
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The article deals with the problem of the bishop’s involvement in warfare presented in Gesta principium Polonorumby Gallus anonymous (fl. 1112-1116). according to this account, Simon, ordinary of the Masovian diocese of Płock (ca.1107-1129) – took part in a counterattack of a small unit of Masovian defenders, whose aim was to rescue the prisoners of war and the loot taken from the Masovian province by a much larger unit of pagan Pomeranians. The confrontation was supposed to end with a great victory of the defenders, who not only recovered the loot and prisoners, but also dealt a crushing defeat to the enemy. This success was attributed to Bishop Simon who, although not engaged directly in the warfare himself, made “God show his omnipotence in the battle” and turn the scales in favour of his folk. The bishop made it all possible by praying in tears with the group of clergy nearby the battlefield. an analysis of this narrative conducted on a comparative background shows that the chronicle account essentially proves the chronicler’s attachment to a concrete image of the bishop who would not take part in an armed conflict personally or taint his pastoral mission with a direct contact with secular weapons and warriors, but would stand by his flock fighting the enemy as a miles Christi – with the spiritual weapon appropriate to his clerical order: tears and prayers. although Gallus does draw in his description on earlier literary traditions of bishops defenders of their episcopal capitals referring back to the early Middle ages, he builds his vision basing upon contemporary reformatory ideals of religious purity and clerical gentleness, i.e. a vision that adheres to the requirements of the canon law, including a little bit later Decretum Gratiani. Observing the close relationship between the image presented in the account and the late 11th- or early 12th-century reformatory tract De episcopis ad bella procedentibus, it can be concluded that Gallus supported the most radical voices raised against direct engagement of bishops in war, reserving for bishops only the role of the shephards of their flock.
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